Women's Basketball
Russell, Petty Lead Kentucky Past Georgia in SEC Tournament Opener

Russell, Petty Lead Kentucky Past Georgia in SEC Tournament Opener

by Tim Letcher

There is something about the Southeastern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament that brings out the best in Kyra Elzy-coached teams. Elzy’s Kentucky team proved that once again on Wednesday.

Playing in the opening game of the 2024 SEC Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina, Elzy’s Wildcats topped Georgia 64-50 to advance to Thursday’s second round. Elzy improved to 8-2 in her career in the SEC Tournament, where she and the Cats won the title in 2022.

Ajae Petty notched her 17th double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Eniya Russell came off the bench to lead UK with 19 points. Brooklynn Miles had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists, playing an important role especially since UK was without starting point guard Maddie Scherr, who missed the game due to injury.

Georgia scored the first four points of the game and built an early 8-2 lead. However, Kentucky would go on a 10-2 run, including seven points from Russell, to lead 12-10. The Lady Bulldogs tied the game at 12, but Kentucky got a Miles layup and a Saniah Tyler jumper to spark a 9-2 run to close the quarter, which ended with UK holding a 21-14 advantage.

Kentucky continued to grow its lead in the second quarter. The teams traded a pair of baskets early in the quarter before UK got a Miles three and a pair of Amiya Jenkins free throws to lead 30-18. Georgia scored the next basket but the Cats closed the half on a 6-2 run to lead 36-22 at the break.

Georgia opened the third quarter with an 8-1 run to cut the UK lead to 37-30. A Tyler basket stopped the run briefly, but the Lady Bulldogs scored four more in a row to make it 39-34. Kentucky then got a Jenkins layup and a Cassidy Rowe three, sandwiched around a Georgia basket, to make it 44-36. The Lady Bulldogs scored the next basket, but UK closed the quarter with a Russell basket, a Tyler three and a pair of Miles free throws, giving the Cats a 51-38 lead through three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Kentucky scored the first three points on free throws. Georgia scored the next five points to cut the UK lead to 54-43. Later, with UK leading 58-44, Georgia mounted a 6-1 run to get within nine, 59-50. However, Kentucky scored the final five points of the game to seal the victory.

Kentucky plays again on Thursday, facing Tennessee at approximately 2:30. That game can be seen on the SEC Network.

Related Stories

View all